Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Reform, Conservative, etc.

Reform has an added sin beyond being non-religious, and that is distorting the Torah. At least the non-religious don't falsify our religion.

Because Reform falsifies our religion, they cause others to sin because there are those who want to be religious, and Reform tells them that their way is the way G-d wants them to be. So reform makes others non-Religious.

Other than that, falsifying the Torah is itself a grave sin. If you don't want to be religious, that's one thing, but don't misrepresent G-d.

A non-religious person can say he really believes, but he is not ready or willing to keep the Mitzvos. That's like a guy who is caught for speeding and tells the judge I'm guilty, but I have no excuse. I just wanted to get home quicker.

But the Reform are like someone who is caught speeding and tells the judge that he disagrees with the speed limit, and that the judge has no right to tell him how fast to drive.

One is guilty of speeding. The other is making a revolution against the lawmaking process.

So a non-religious Jew violates the Law. Reform rebels against it, telling people that they do not have to follow it, that it is not binding.

Look at it this way: Jews for Jesus.

They believe in the Torah as much as the Reform, or perhaps more:

1) Jews for Jesus believe in G-d, Reform does not have to

2) Jews for Jesus believe in the revelation at Mt. Sinai, Reform does not

3) J4J believe that G-d literally wrote the Torah, Reform does not

4) J4J believes in the wrong Messiah. Reform believes in no Messiah at all

5) And one more difference, between a Reform rabbi and the Pope:

The Pope wears a Yarlmuka.

So if I were to ask you if J4J are "proud to be Jewish", what would you say?

Obviously, what they call "Jewish" and what we call "Jewish" are 2 different things. Although they are 100% Jewish if they had Jewish mothers, the religion they are practicing certainly is not Judaism.

So too the Reform. They are not practicing Judaism.

I think this whole pluralism thing would be looked at in a different light if we were to include Jews for J as Judaism.

Why in the world should they be left our more than, say, Reform? They are Jews too, right?

Yes.

So why does anybody consider Reform a "branch" of Judaism and not Jews for Jesus? Jews for Jesus is much closer to real Judaism than Reform.

So we may as well ask, Which is worse: Christianity or Reform?

Well, if a Reform Jew is an atheist, and he may be, then the Christian Jew is clearly on a higher level, since idolatry is one step above atheism.

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They can consider themselves Reform, since Reform does not have anything against people believing in G-d, but they also give them the option of not believing in G-d too, and that's a serious problem. So serious, in fact, that it takes reform Judaism out of the realm of Judaism. We do not need labels. I don't know why, if your friends keep mitzvos, they consider themselves Reform and not Orthodox, but the point is not how religious you are, but what religion it is you are practicing. Reform Judaism and Orthodox Judaism are two different religions, despite the label. And just as there are Jews who do not practice Judaism - such as Jews for J - there can also be Jews who do not practice reform Judaism, despite what they call themselves.

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To say that Reform Judaism is not Judaism is not Loshon Horah more than saying Jews for Jesus is not Judaism.

The Maharitz Chiyus writes (Kol Kisvei III:p.1113) that the Reform/Conservative Jews are indeed not responsible for their misguided beliefs because that's what they were taught. But those who taught them, those who should know better, are held responsible for them and their followers.

Someone who is reform is in the same category as someone who is Jews for Jesus. Of course they are Jews no matter what. And of course we need to show them the "way." But first and foremost we have to protect their potential victims from following them. Every Jewish child molester, for instance, are also Jews. And we should get them to do teshuva. But first we have to make sure they don't destroy any more lives. And if the child molester will leave our community unless we allow him to be a kindergarten teacher, then it's sad, but goodbye.

So too Reform rabbis, who destroy people's souls. You know the Halachah is that to save someone from becoming reform you would be allowed to violate Shabbos just as if the person was going to die? Do you know that Jews are obligated to die rather than believe that the Torah is not Min haShamayim? Reform rabbis should be shown the light, true, but first and foremost we have to make sure that nobody believes what they say, that they are not really rabbis, and not practicing Judaism at all. They are just like Jewish missionaries for Jesus.

Another thing. Even though every Jew remains a Jew, if someone believes in another religion - like Christianity OR Reform Judaism - he attains the status of a non-Jew regarding all privileges. Meaning, he cannot be counted as part of a Minyan, his Brachos are not brachos (we do not answer Amen to them), and if he touches our wine we may not drink it. (All of the above is the opinion of the majority of poskim. If someone is a Tinok Shenishbah - innocently duped, totally ignorant about Judaism - there is a disagreement about this).

He remains Jewish regarding all responsibilities, but is not granted any privileges.

Our religion does include non-orthodox Jews. But their religion, meaning the one they has chosen, does not include us. And I know it's painful, but my job, and the job of all of us, is first to make sure that distinction is understood.

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Why would Reform be considered a "legitimate" branch of Judaism and not, say, Jews for Jesus? After all, that’s their "interpretation" of Judaism, so who’s to say they’re wrong?

Obviously, just because someone calls their religion Judaism does not make it so. The Judaism that was given by G-d bears no resemblance to Reform, who do not even feel obligated to believe that G-d ever gave that Torah in the first place. You can call it Judaism, but it is not. Sorry.

And forget about the old Reform blood libel of "How can you say we're not Jewish?!"

Nobody is saying you're not Jewish. You're just not practicing Judaism. You're like a Jewish atheist or a Jewish Buddhist or a Jew for Jesus.

They're all Jewish, if they had a Jewish mother. But being Jewish is what you are. Practicing Judaism is what you do. One does not necessitate the other.

According to Judaism, Reform is simply another religion, regardless of what you call it.

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Your actions do not have to mean something to YOU. They have to mean something to G-D.

That’s the difference between Orthodox and Reform Judaism. Orthodox Judaism follows instructions that G-D gave us. Reform ignores those instructions and instead follows instructions that they themselves concocted. So Reform is not a religion given by G-d but rather made by men.

Why would you exclude Jews for Jesus as a "legitimate" branch of Judaism? Because they believe in Jesus? So what? Why can a Reform rabbi not even believe in G-d but a J4J "rabbi" can't believe in Jesus? Maybe Jews SHOULD believe in Jesus? Who are you to say they shouldn't? If this is what "connects" them to G-d, then what's wrong? And are you so arrogant as to say only you know how to connect to G-d

Orthodox Judaism is not "my" way of worshiping G-d. I did not invent it. Hashem did. I just follow it. You are projecting the man-made nature of Reform religion onto Orthodoxy, making believe that they are both man-made and then you ask why is your concocted religion better than mine? But the answer is that we did not make up our religion. Hashem gave it us on Mt. Sinai.

Let me ask another question: What makes Judaism better than Buddhism? Or any other religion? They, too, say they are "connected to G-d".

But the reality is that your Judaism and their Buddhism has nothing to do with G-d. G-d did not give either religion

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To a Torah-thinking Jew, it is unthinkable to look at a reform rabbi preaching his religion as anything else than a spiritual mass murderer. And joining with him is as repulsive, even more so, than joining with a physical murderer. So if you believe your cause if important enough to join with a spiritual mass murderer, you surely would have no qualms with joining with a physical murderer.

But the Hashkafically assimilated would mistakenly look at a Reform rabbi as a "peer", albeit a wrongheaded one, as opposed to an enemy. Therein lies the Hashkafic tragedy. The masses of reform Jewry who have been mislead may be innocent victims of the spiritual atrocities of their leaders; but the rabbis themselves are guilty of mass murder - worse! - and are no less dangerous to us than any mass murderers of our physical beings.

The reform rabbi today goes through training which, as twisted as it may be, gives him the opportunity to willingly reject real Judaism in favor of Reform, which makes him very responsible.

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Sometimes rejection of one Orthodox group of another is justified and sometimes it is not. Throughout history, we have had Orthodox groups - who kept Kosher, Shabbos, and Tznius - that were B"H rejected from Klall Yisroel. Korach's group was totally Orthodox, complete with Talmidei Chachamim and 250 Heads of Sanhedrin. Yeravan ben Nevat did more damage to Klall Yisroel than anyone in history and he and his group were totally Orthodox. Shabse Tzvi, the false Moshiach, was Orthodox, and so were his followers.

You can be sure that the followers of Korach said that "we too are Orthodox" and therefore Klall Yisroel's rejection of them was sinas chinam. In fact, that is exactly what Korach meant when he came to Moshe and said "The entire congregation is holy, why do you lord it over them?"

And I am sure that young men and women of Korach's sect also claimed that those who rejected them were just infighting, and better they should go fight with Amalek or something.

While it is true that it is difficult to know, sometimes, which group is Korach and which is Moshe, it is clear that even within Orthodoxy, there are groups that we must reject. That is because Torah is a lot more than just Kashrus, Tznius and Shabbos. You can keep all of those things and yet theoretically be an idol worshipper. An Ir Hanidaschas - an idolatrous city that the Torah commands us to utterly destroy - can be totally Tzniusdik, Kosher, and Shomer Shabbos.

If you want to be BY/Yeshivish, then you can successfully be that. A BT can sometimes feel out of place, but it is not because the community does not accept BT's, rather, some people in the community are not wise or mature enough to know how to express that acceptance.

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Conservative Judaism does NOT follow Halachah -- they say they do, but they have a totally different definition of Halachah and the Halachic process than the Torah. Orthodox Judaism's "halacha" and Conservative "Judaism's" Halachah" are only homonyms. They’re not the same.

The so-called "halakhic pluralism" of the Conservative movement, the bogus "Committee on Law and Standards" which acts as their lawmaking body with no halachic due process is merely a false way of creating new and invalid so-called "halachos".

The heretic, Mordechai Kaplan, in his "Judaism as a Civilization" decided that Religion is a human creation, and halakhah has the status of "folkways." The heretic Solomon Schechter concocts his idea of Halachic "academic freedom" - meaning, halachah is no longer halachah as we know it, but a new, grotesque imposter thereof.
That resulted in a totally non-halachic religion, part of which follows:

"Mixed seating" in synagogue; retroactive annulment of marriages; counting of women in minyanim and giving them aliyos and letting them read form the Torah; ordination of women as rabbis; chilul Shabbos: permitting driving to "synagogue"; permitting use of electricity on Sabbath; eliminating second day of holidays; Friday night davening; unauthorized reforms in the siddur; changing the cycle of Torah reading.

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Saying that the Torah isn’t really from Hashem, but merely "divinely inspired" is meaningless. How do we know that the Torah was divinely inspired? And how do we know what authority, if any, "divinely inspired" has? Maybe this website is divinely inspired? Maybe the Pope is "divinely inspired"?
The entire "divinely inspired" thing is so ambiguous and means so little in the bottom line that anyone can say it means anything they want. And this is no surprise, since "divinely inspired" was the concoction of some relatively modern day conservative rabbis, and Jews have never thought of such an outrageous concept ever.

Why didn’t the people who were "divinely inspired", their contemporaries, and the entire thread of torah tradition down ever mention the fact that the Torah was merely "divinely inspired" as opposed to the Word of G-d, which is what it says all over. How did these Conservatives decide this? Based on what? Nothing.

If we can just chuck Halachos that we consider offensive or nonsensical why haven't any Halachos been chucked until the Conservatives decided to do it? Torah has been around for thousands of years. It makes zero sense to say that only since the advent of the Conservative movement do we understand what it really means.

And it makes no sense anyway. "Nonsensical" to whom? "Offensive" to whom? What authority does the "Conservative movement" have to decide what's offensive or nonsensical? I am offended by the Conservative movement. That, by Conservative standards, should be enough to abolish it, no? Who makes these decisions, and, most importantly, who gives any of these people the authority to decide laws and practices for other people? Like, who died and make them the boss?
The fact that Conservative Judaism does not believe the Torah is the Word of Hashem but rather "divinely inspired" whatever that means, makes it a totally different religion than Orthodox Judaism. The last time an Orthodox rabbi said this, the Conservatives freaked out and falsely publicized to the papers that we do not believe they are Jews.

Not so. They are Jews. Nobody ever said differently. Their religion, however, is not Judaism. Like Jews for Jesus, they are full-fledged Jews, but are practicing the wrong religion.

And at least Jews for Jesus believe that the Torah was given by G-d, not merely "divinely inspired".
I’m not saying J4J are better than Conservativism. I said that at least they believe the Torah was given by G-d Himself. J4J is also not Judaism, and has other problems, but this is not one of them.

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Conservativism doesn't merely partially follow Halachah, it partially believes in Halachah. People who can't resist temptation partially follow Halachah, but they know that there is more that they are not following. Conservativism has abolished Halahcos they do not like.

Our religion says the Halachos - all of them - were given by G-d. Not merely "divinely inspired", whatever that mean (it means nothing, really). To say that the Torah, including the Halachos are not binding is to create a new religion. Sorry.

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Saying something like the conservative movement never abolished shatnez or niddah Halacha is like saying the Christians never abolished the Torah, they just "reinterpreted" it. Conservativism has some rules that they refer to as shatnez and nidah, but there is not much more similarity between theirs and ours.

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Conservative Judaism is clearly heresy, and not Judaism at all. They create their own baseless rules and policies and incorporate those fairy tales into what they call Judaism.

As far as “Halachah” goes, they make call it “Halachah”, but it is nothing close. Solomon Schechter concocted, as part of the Halachic process a baseless and nonsensical concept called "Klal Yisrael" (yes, Klall Yisroel) which means that decisions on Jewish Law are largely determined by the practices of Klal Yisrael. In other words, instead of people having to follow the law, the law follows the people. Of course, it is more complicated – and more messed up – than that. They have something called the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS), that decides Halachah. Sometimes this pseudo-Sanhedrim hagadol will give people a choice of what they can do, and each conservative rabbi (sic) can decide on his own. Who gave these people authority, I have no idea. And what authority they think they have – over all Judaism, over the Conservative movement – is not clear. Do they believe that the Conservative movement is correct? Then everyone should be bound to the decision of these lawmakers, since they represent the correct Torah view. But for some reason, they only claim to speak for the Conservative Movement – in other words, we’re not saying we’re right, but if you want to have our label, you have to listen to us.

That’s why Conservative Judaism is not defined. What is the status of someone who is not part of the Conservative Movement? Is he practicing Judaism? Is he wrong? Is he a heretic? Answering these questions based on Conservative philosophy generates irreconcilable contradictions and dead ends with no answers. But what can you expect? One cannot expect a coherent philosophy when you try to remake Torah in your own image.

You want to call it a new religion, call it a new religion. But calling it Judaism just doesn’t work.

The CJLS also has something called “standards”. These are more “chomur” than just plain laws.
The CJLS decides, not based on any legitimate Halachic grounds, what is considered a “standard.” But don’t worry – they only have 4 of them in the entire Torah! They are:

1. Rabbis cannot officiate at intermarriages.
2. Rabbis cannot officiate at a remarriage where the previous marriage has not been terminated according to Conservative laws
3. Rabbis cannot act as if Jewishness depends on having a Jewish father (not mother).
4. They cannot do any conversions without what they call Milah and Mikveh.

People can get thrown out of the Conservative movement (whatever that means – again, how does this effect him in any measurable way, besides a label?) for doing these things. What makes these things so special is the random, non-halachic decision of the lawmakers. Rabbis can not keep Shabbos and still be Conservative rabbis. But if they perform a conversion without a Mikveh, they can get thrown out. Go know.

They also believe - don’t ask how they got this – that “revelation” (like Har Sinai) in the form of prophecy, can happen today. I am not kidding.

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Of course Conservatives don’t keep Shabbos, the problem is they think they do! So do the Christians, and the Moslems. They just re-define what Shabbos is. This has been the history of all deviant religious movements. They won't say we reject the Torah, they will say we just have a different hashkafa of what it means! My intent therefore is to demonstrate on their terms that their religion (Conservative Judaism) is stupid.

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I know of Frankel's writings. They're so haphazard, baseless, and messed up it's pathetic. Pruzbul changed nothing; it means Bais Din takes over the debt, which was always an option, merely never instituted in an organized fashion. There are no changes, and there is no reason their law body has any authority. The entire thing is a fabrication out of thin air falsely attributed to Judaism.

In fact, I think I am the one who should be making the laws for Conservative Judaism. I am Jewish, too. So what right do they have more than me to make laws for people? The first law I am going to enact is that anyone who says they respect Conservative Jewry is in cherem.

Second, everyone has to post to this site 3 times a day instead of praying, since the Internet is much more in the "spirit of the times" than a shtiebel.

(I saw the RA letter on what they refer to as Taharas Hamishposhchah. Nothing there that changes anything. It's not real Taharas Hamishpochah.)

Quoting Zechariah Frankel to confirm what Conservatives of say does not defend his position. And it is, really, a pretty stupid thing for him to say. The people are not molded by the "wills of theologians and scholars", but by the will of G-d. Frankel, in true Conservative form, was scared to admit that G-d is in charge, but doesn't say clearly that He is not.

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By Torah law, a man may have more than one wife. About 1,000 years ago, most of Klall Yisroel accepted the ban of Rabbeinu Gershom not to marry multiple wives. That was a new rabbinic restriction. However, that restriction is suspended under a handful of circumstances that may qualify under heter meah rabbonim. Don't forget, objectively, a man can marry 2 women if he wants; it was a self-imposed restriction not to. Therefore, the HMR is merely a codicil of this restriction, suspending it under certain circumstances.

And no, sorry, all 100 rabbis do not have to meet your friend. In fact, it will almost be impossible to do so, since the 100 rabbis have to come from a number of different places, as per the rules of HMR. Only the Bais Din itself needs to rule on someone’s "fitness".

The whole conservative thing is a political club rather than an interpretation of Judaism.

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We're not talking about Conservative Jews, we're talking about Conservative Judaism. I am saying that it is not at all Judaism, but rather a freewheeling, Monty Python type of religion with no rhyme or reason, never mind any resemblance to anything that can reasonably be referred to as Judaism.

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Those who are irreligious because they don't know any better are considered, according to many poskim, like "tinikos shenishbu". This means they are not punished for their sins, since they did not know any better.

However, if someone who doesn't believe in G-d does Mitzvos, they do not count, since to them, they are not doing a Mitvah but rather performing meaningless motions. It's like if someone let's say wants to buy a nice citrus fruit to eat and comes upon a pile of esrogim in the marketplace, and picks them up one by one feeling them for ripeness, not even being aware that it is an esrog. If they did this on sukkos they would not get a Mitzvah. If someone does not believe in G-d, all the mitzvos he does are like that.

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I once heard from Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach ZT"L that if a Jew (a) knows he is Jewish, and (b) can become religious, and (c) the government won’t persecute him if he is religious, then he is no longer a Tinok Shenishbah and is therefore responsible for his actions.

There is a big machlokes about this. Regarding Reform, the rabbis themselves are definitely responsible for their actions, since they know enough to realize their religion is not Judaism (See Kol Kisvei Maharitz Chiyos III:p.1003); whether an average reform Jew is responsible would be a machlokes.

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Those Mitzvos done without believing in anything are not Mitzvos. They do not train a person to believe in G-d, and if they did train a person to do the mitzvos, then they have the same status as let’s say a person put on leather straps with comic books in them, not tefillin. They don't retroactively count at all. They may help as fake training tools, but they have no intrinsic value in the slightest.
The only value is in continued education and affiliation, NOT the doing of the Mitzvah. The Mitzvah itself means nothing - it's like blowing his nose. That accomplishes nothing. But if he comes every day to Yeshiva to blow his nose, maybe something good will happen. Those who put tefillin on atheists in a one-time event and say good bye to him wasted their time; they accomplished nothing.

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Hold off a decision on your place in regards to religiosity for the meantime and focus on getting more and more information about Judaism. Making these decisions with more information will maximize the chances of the decision being correct.

It's impossible to rely on your feelings when it comes to these things, because as we learn more and more, our perspective changes. So don't lock yourself in to any decision yet.

For example: "Something is better than nothing" in respect to Reform.

OK, if something is better than nothing, how about Jews for Jesus?

In principle, labels are wrong etc. But the question is how to properly apply the principles.

I would start by reading the book of Rabbi Avigdor Miller shlita. I do not know of any English books on the ideology of Judaism that come close to these. Start with Rejoice O Youth and then go to Sing You Righteous.

Learn a lot, and then decide where you want to be. Right now it's too early to make that decision, which is why you are lost trying to do it.

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The maharitz chiyos writes regarding conservative that the simple people in their congregations are not responsible for believing what their rabbis taught them but the rabbis are responsible for misleading their congregants.

A person is responsible for whenever he should know better. There is a moral obligation and expectation to be objective and try to find the truth. If someone believes in a religion that makes no sense, and they are capable of seeing it makes no sense, then they are responsible if they do not.

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1 Comments:

Blogger C said...

I was raised with this "reform judaism", and my mother was converted by "Conservative" jews. So I know a little something about the lies and falsehoods that these "movements" teach. It has taken me YEARS to realize that there is almost nothing worthwhile in these ideas. My father, obm, was raised by halachic non-religious jewish parents, and was quite against anything "religious" (Jewish). I am now, Brauch Hash-m, on the right path, with the right ideas behind it,and don't feel anymore like someone with a garbage faith.

6:39 AM  

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